Stretch marks can be a frustrating problem for the people who have them. Whether you just have a few stretch marks around your stomach or you’re plagued with these unsightly marks in many places, most likely you are looking for a way to get rid of them.
Stretch marks are caused when the collagen under the skin is damaged. This can happen through the rapid gain of fat or muscle in one area. These marks start as red lines and then fade to whitish scars over time. Because stretch marks are the result of advanced damage to the collagen, it is very difficult to reduce their appearance. It is best to try to avoid developing stretch marks by controlling the pace at which you gain weight or build your muscles.
Many creams and oils are specially designed to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and can be bought over the counter at your local store. These products can help your skin become firmer and more supple, and may help reduce the appearance of some surface stretch marks. Vitamin E oil and cocoa butter are commonly used to treat stretch marks. These products can be massaged into the skin twice a day or more. It is best to start using a cream or oil as soon as you notice stretch marks forming. The sooner marks are treated, the more likely it is that treatment will be successful.
Prescription creams are also available for the treatment of stretch marks. These may be very successful on mild stretch marks and may improve the appearance of deeper stretch marks, as well. Retin-A cream is commonly used to reduce the redness in new stretch marks and may help prevent prominent scarring. However, Retin-A can only be used on newer stretch marks that are still red or pink, typically less than one year old.
The most successful treatment of stretch marks is cosmetic laser surgery. Laser treatment is by far the most expensive method available, running well into the thousands of dollars when there is a large treatment area. However, laser surgery is also the best way to achieve results when trying to remove stretch marks. This method can be used on deeper and older stretch marks in addition to newer marks. Laser treatment removes, vaporizes, and breaks down the skin’s tissues. Successful laser surgery depends on the result of a series of treatments over several weeks. Usually between six and eight treatments are needed to see results. Although laser surgery is generally the most effective treatment for stretch marks, this method still may be ineffective for some people. It is important to decide if you can afford such a surgery even if it does not provide the results you desire.
It is important to remember that damage to the deep fibers of the skin is difficult and sometimes impossible to repair. That is why it is best to always try to prevent stretch marks before they happen. You can do this by monitoring your weight gain and muscle building closely. A healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and water will also aid in preventing stretch marks.